The Dallas Cowboys are in prime position heading into the middle part of the season, but the team could get even better by trading for a Washington Commanders star.
Dallas is sitting at 4-1 thanks to a surprising winning streak with backup quarterback Cooper Rush. The defense deserves a ton of credit, but no squad is perfect, and Dallas’ Achilles heel appears to be in the secondary.
Trevon Diggs is having another excellent year, as is safety Donovan Wilson, but fellow starting CB Anthony Brown has been called out as the weak link. With Commanders CB William Jackson III apparently asking out of Washington, Dallas may have an opportunity to make a move.
According to NFL media insider Ian Rapoport, Jackson is eager to make the move, teams are interested, and a deal could happen sooner rather than later.
“Sources say the former big-ticket, free-agent cornerback would like a new home, and the Commanders have engaged in trade talks centered around him with hopes of making that happen,” Rapoport wrote. “There has been interest in Jackson from several teams, sources say… With the NFL trade deadline looming on Nov. 1, the likelihood is that Jackson is traded long before then.”
Jackson has a proven track record and would give Dallas a talented option as the team’s No. 2 cornerback.
Jackson’s Journey From Bengals to Commanders
After impressing at Houston, Jackson was drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Known for his impressive ball skills, Jackson was a factor for the Bengals right away.
As Pro Football Reference shows, his career interception numbers aren’t mindblowing, with Jackson bringing down five picks in his six NFL seasons. However, he has been credited with 51 passes defended in 75 games.
As a rookie, he totaled 14 passes defended. In three separate seasons in Cincinnati, Jackson surpassed 10 PDs, with 2019 being the only year he didn’t reach that mark.
Since joining Washington in 2020, Jackson has had significant highs and lows. The 29-year-old corner brought down multiple INTs for the first time in his NFL career in 2020, and has racked up 10 passes defended in 16 appearances.
But being sidelined for five games in 2021 on a high-paying contract was a red flag, and now Jackson and the Commanders are set to part ways in his second season in D.C.
What Cowboys Would Have to Give Up in Trade
What’s interesting about a move for Jackson is that his contract makes moving for him difficult for some teams. The Cowboys have $10.3 million in cap space for 2022 according to Spotrac, which is plenty to add Jackson to the roster.
The issue is that Jackson will be a $15.75 million cap hit in 2023. Dallas could maneuver to fit Jackson into the salary cap equation, but extensions for Diggs and other stars loom in the distance.
In terms of what Dallas would have to give up, a Day 2 or early Day 3 pick seems like a fair exchange. The Cowboys would be committing future picks (and future money,) but it would be an upgrade at an important position.
It all depends on how confident Dallas is in the secondary going forward. If the team ends up needing to make a move, Jackson should be high up on their list of trade targets.